ABC…It’s Easy As 123

I finally got my internship assignment today and I’ll be helping out in a 1st grade classroom for this next semester.  I was really hoping for kindergarten or 1st grade so I’m pretty excited about the placement.

To get ready I’ve been going shopping for an entire new wardrobe.  I hate shopping.  I mean I really despise doing it.  As a result 98% of my clothes are more than 7 yrs old, most likely stolen from my brother’s closet, and comprised of ratty t-shirts and work out shorts.  In the winter I basically wear the same pair of sweat pants everyday and throw on a hoodie.  I don’t bother tying my sneakers and wear a baseball hat when I don’t feel like washing my hair.  In the summer it’s much of the same; same pair of shorts everyday, t-shirt and flip flops.  Basically I dress like a teenage boy.

Having to get a new wardrobe was bound to happen and I’m a little surprised, albeit happy, that it took me nearly 33 years to do it.  In the past two weekends I’ve spent somewhere between $400-$450, which quite frankly, is a ridiculous amount of money to spend on what is basically just cloth and thread.  On the other hand, it’s been 33 yrs. in the making so…not so bad.  And even more surprising to me is that I found so many clothes that I liked and actually fit correctly.  Score!

I do need to put a kabosh on further spending as I now won’t have a job for the next four months due to this internship.  Ah well, it was fun while it lasted…well at least it was tolerable.

In other random and unimportant news, I’ve almost reached my book reading goal.  Yes, I really have one of those.  It’s the same goal I’ve had since 2008 – to read 50 books throughout the year.  I only successfully achieved this goal that first year, but 2012 looks to be an overachiever.  I’m currently on book 49 with a stack waiting in the wing to be read.  Success – even if it is in something so minor!

Completed

Finally!  The semester is over.  I have to say this past month totally sucked with all the projects and papers I had to do but now it’s over and done with.  AND it was my last semester of actual course work, just an internship left to go till graduation.  All I want to do is sleep, eat junk food, read, and sleep.  I’m so tired right now all of my thoughts are coming out as phrases.

In other news I finished the yard work in the back and will post pictures later.  This Friday I’m going to be helping to lay sod in our front yard and will post pics of that as well.  Right now, I’m going to sit in front of the TV and do nothing.

Am I Already Out of Touch?

I’m 32 years old.  I’d like to think I still have a pulse on what the kids are into these days.  Sometimes the pulse may be a little hard to find like you look over at your great Aunt Mable and she appears unresponsive, so you start performing CPR only to discover she was just resting her eyes half way between a bite of mashed potatoes and peas.  Hard to find or not, it’s there.  For the most part I can turn on the radio and tell you the song and artist that’s being played.  I have an entire IMDB library in my head and can spout off random and completely useless facts that benefit absolutely no one about various celebrities.  I’m so fashion forward I CHOOSE to only wear sweats because I don’t want to induce a frenzied riot in Walmart while I’m buying a gallon of milk and not because I fell asleep in them the night before and figure with a baseball hat no one will be able to tell the difference.  But I digress.

One of my assignments for my c lass in a few weeks is to create a glogster.  That’s glogster with two Gs, not to be confused with globster which is what I kept referring to it as.  Just so you know, according to Wikipedia a globster is “an unidentified organic mass that washes up on the shoreline of an ocean or other body of water.”

(you know it’s real because the picture is black and white)

 

You know what else I learned from Wikipedia?  What a glogster is.  How sad is that?  I’m on Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, not 1 but 2 blogs, Flickr, and probably a whole host of stuff I can’t even remember.  But I had to look up the definition of what a glogster is after my forty something year old professor with no kids told me to create one for class.

Good grief.

Book List 2011

Back in 2008 I made a goal of reading at least 50 books during the year.  Of course that was the only year I actually met that goal.  But anyway, here’s my list from 2011:

1.   The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

2.   Little Bee

3.   Winter Garden

4.   No One Can Take Your Place

5.   Think Twice

6.   Love, Lucy

7.   Bossypants

8.   The Truth About You and Me

9.   The Shop on Blossom Street

10.  Thin Rich Pretty

11.  Conspirita

12.  Her Fearful Symmetry

13.  And One Last Thing

14.  Secrets of a Shoe Addict

15.  Man in the Middle

16.  Mrs. Kimble

17.  Swan Thieves

18.  The Hunt

19.  The Beach House

20.  The Lifeguard

21.  The Swimsuit

22.  Port Morturary

23.  The Devil in Jr. League

24.  The Sisters of Hardscrabble Bay

25.  Pop Goes the Weasel

26.  Mortal Allies

27.  Seriously…I’m Kidding

28.  The Kingmaker

29.  Roses are Red

30.  Simple Genius

31.  First Family

32.  Stories I Only Tell My Friends

33.  Jack and Jill

34.  Violets are Blue

35.  4 Blind Mice

36.  Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper Case Closed

37.  The Alchemist

 

So no surprise most of the books are thriller/murder mysteries.  And obviously I discovered James Patterson this year which I’m not sure how I avoided for so long since those are my favorite types of books.

On a happy note, this is the year I graduate…not till December, but still.

Where Did November Go?

So…uh, what happened to November folks??  I don’t really know where to begin because the post I’ve been thinking about posting is irrelevant seeing as how Halloween is long over and gone.  So just imagine, I walked around my neighborhood and took pictures of the decorations people put up and some of them were pretty cool.  A lot of people around here did some sort of decorations even if it was minimal.  One of my favorites was a ginormous spider a guy built out of PCP pipe with glowing green fangs and put up in the front yard.  I’d post the pics but they didn’t turn out all that well now that I’m looking back at them.  We even decorated our porch which was a cross between nice harvest with pumpkins and hay bales and typical Halloween with spider webs and ghosts.  I even tried to make this:

It didn’t quite turn out exactly like this but good enough.  Another reason I’m not posting pictures is because my computer is going through a freak out period.  I just got it a few months ago and there’s already some sort of hardware glitch.  Lovely.  I’ve talked to tech support on two separate occasions and all I’m wanting them to do is send me a box to put my computer in so I can send it to be repaired.  It is now a month after my initial call and I still don’t have a box.  Grrr.  I will be making yet another call tomorrow and may have to ask to be transferred to their complaints department or something.  It’s frustrating and annoying.  And I’m annoyed that I have to talk to some guy in India who I can’t understand and who can’t understand me.  Double Grrr.

With the semester coming to an end I’ve been bombarded with papers, projects, assignments, etc.  The good thing is I’m starting to see the end.  Whoo hoo!  We had family in for Thanksgiving which was fun.  I was a cooking fool last weekend.  I made a big dinner the night before then cooked the turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and made four pumpkin pies.  I love pumpkin pie.  All the cooking is just the warm up for the Christmas desserts that need to be made.  Last year I baked a little over 400 cookies, 5 loaves of bread, three batches of fudge, 2 batches of cream cheese brownie bars, 2 or 3 batches of homemade oreo cake/cookies, and tried divinity which I ended up being sidelined for because that’s really hard to make.  Maybe this year.  Speaking of the Christmas season, all the holiday movies have started up which I’m apparently a sucker for.  So odd because ordinarily I can’t stand Lifetime or Hallmark but sprinkle in Christmas and I can’t turn it off.  Go figure.

Well for some stupid reason I woke up at 3:45 this morning and couldn’t go back to sleep.  I hate that.  So I”m going to go attempt to do that now.  But I’m going to leave you with what I discovered making a web outside my window:

Ok, ok so it wasn’t really a goliath birdeating tarantula out there but it may as well have been.  It was totally big and creepy.  Well, pleasant dreams!

Alrighty Then

I got a message from someone (ahem DJD) to update this little diddy of a blog and I told him I would by the weekend because I thought for sure I could think up enough fodder from the past two months to write about.  Well…I’m not so sure.  Now that it is officially fall (it is officially fall right?) there is a holiday smell in the air and a little bounce in my step.  Spring/Summer are my favorite seasons but let’s face it, this past year felt like living in a crematorium so I welcome the lower temps and humidity.  Not just welcome them, I have a spare bed and bath reserved and am prepared to be at their beck and call if they promise to stick around for a while.

We have now started the months of uppers – October, November, December – when everyone starts being nice and a little more charitable which will be followed by the months of downers – January and February – when everyone is annoyed and irritable.  Ok maybe that’s just me.  Regardless we’re in an upper and I’m actually excited it’s October.  Colors will start becoming vibrant and of course Halloween is merely a few weeks away.

I won’t even attempt to write an entry on Halloween because compared to some of you who are Halloween enthusiasts, my entry would be pathetic and sad.  And admittedly I haven’t always been so jazzed about it.   I think working at a preschool has definitely helped.  There are just so many cute crafts and songs and the kids are uber pumped about dressing up.  Yesterday we went on a field trip to a pumpkin patch and I was probably more excited than they were.

Our school Halloween party is a week from tomorrow and I’m still trying to put together my costume.  Last year I went as a Ninja Turtle and this year I want to go as a Ghostbuster.  I’m borrowing a pack back vacuum to serve as my proton pack but am having a hard time locating a jumpsuit to wear.  Today a friend said he would mail me one of his old flight suits from when he was in the Marine Corps which would be perfect but I’m a little nervous it won’t get here in time.  Fingers crossed.

This year I’m even planning on helping to decorate the outside of the house and have already bought a few things to get the ball rolling.  Who knows, with this festive attitude I may even go to a haunted house.  Yeah right.  I had a traumatic experience (oh it was traumatic alright don’t you worry, that is if you’re a wimpy 10 year old girl) when I was in the 6th grade and have never gotten over it.  I tried going to one in the 9th grade but it didn’t work out to well and I break into a sweat and start having heart palpitations just thinking about it.

There won’t be any watching of scary movies either as I will most likely stick to the lame TV crap available on ABC Family this holiday season.  Baby steps, baby steps.  I “watched” Quarantine a few months ago but that viewing was done at high noon through my fingers with the remote firmly in hand ready to change the channel with the click of a button.  I also tried to watch The Strangers but only made it about 2/3rds of the way through.  Had to read the ending on IMDB.  A wimp I am.

On to something happier about the fall season, I made caramel apples today and am going to get apples tomorrow to make applesauce.  And while I’m mentioning food, I made some homemade chicken noodle soup last weekend that was to die for.  Another great thing about fall, hearty soups and a kitchen that smells heavenly.  Well there you have it.  Stay tuned this next week for pics of (cross your fingers) my ghostbuster costume.

First of All…

Yesterday was my birthday!  Whoo hoo!!  I had the day off work and was pretty lazy for most of the day.  My mom, brother, and I had a little gift opening party and then went to dinner.  My brother went on home while my mom and I went to Target so I could look for cheap school supplies and other Crayola type things for the kids at the preschool.  I then went home and watched Thundercats.  And that my friends is how a 32 year old celebrates their birthday on a Friday night…or at least how this one does it. 

Since I last wrote, summer school started and ended.  I’ve never taken classes in the summer and I never want to again.  It blows.  Summer is supposed to be a time of relaxation and freedom.  It was never intended to be a time of research methods and child development.  But it’s done now and I got a two week break before starting up again for fall.  I did get some good news yesterday regarding my practicum.  The university is allowing the preschool where I work to serve as my practicum site so I now don’t have to be placed in a school somewhere in the district which means no scheduling hassels, worrying I won’t get my hours, and I get paid.  Getting them to accept it has been a little bit of a problem so I was ecstatic they finally agreed.

During those two weeks I had off, I went on a little road trip with a friend of mine from Utah.  She flew down here to Arkansas and we decided to drive to Mississippi to the Gulf Shores.  We didn’t really plan this very well so when we got there it wasn’t at all what we thought it was going to be.  Nevermind that we really weren’t in the right place which we didn’t discover until a few days later.  Instead we went on to Gulf Shores, Alabama which is a tourist spot.  If you have kids this is a great place for you.  I don’t have kids and neither does she so we went on to Pensacoloa, Florida. 

 This was perfect!  We got there late afternoon and drove right to a beach and just layed there.  I loved it.  In the morning we got up to see the sun rise which was kind of nice I guess and I was planning on another day of laying at the beach.  We didn’t do that though.  Instead we went to the national park and walked around on some trails.  We decided to go ahead and make our way back to Mississippi after we got some information on where we were supposed to go.  The second time around was a little better.  We had dinner at a place called The Shed which we had both seen hightlighted on different food shows.  It’s a BBQ/Blues joint and if you are ever in Ocean Springs, MS you need to eat there.  Definitely two thumbs up.  It looks like a crappy hole in the wall place but it’s SO GOOD.

   Anyway, here are some pics from the trip:

    

WHOO HOO!!!!

I just had to let that out because…my second semester of grad school is officially over!!  YIPPEE!  So nice to have it done.  Now I can focus on more important things this month like eating, sleeping, and television watching.  Did I mention sleeping?  And eating?  *sigh*  can’t wait.

Phew!

Finally, it’s MARCH!!!  My favorite time of year begins in the spring and ends with summer.  Life seems so monotonous and bleak during the winter months especially January and February.  Ever since I was in high school on the track team, I’ve always considered March (which was the start of track season) to be the beginning of spring, even when I lived out in Utah and the ground was still covered in snow and I was wearing a winter coat – it was still spring.

I’ve been incredibly busy and felt overwhelmed the past month with work and school, but especially this past week.  It was one of those times were everything in life converged together simultaneously and all I kept saying to myself was, “If you can just make it through February you’ll be ok…if you can just make it through this weekend you’ll be ok…if you can just make it through this assignment you’ll be ok…if you can just make it through…..”  And I started to realize that I’m guilty of doing this all the time.  If I can just make it…blah blah blah.  What a sad outlook.  I might as well say, “If I can just make it until I finally keel over I’ll get the rest I’m looking for.”

For three weeks I filled in for my boss at work – it was only supposed to be for one.  Her daughter was pregnant with twins and went into labor really early and had some complications.  I’m very happy I could fill in for her so she could go and even more happy that everything turned out ok for mom and babies.  It’s just the timing really sucked.

I would go to work at 7am and get home between 5:30-6:00 and have to be in class or work on papers until I collapsed in bed usually sometime between 11 and midnight, just to get up a few hours later and start over.  I admit I’m one of those people that honestly needs at least 8 hours of sleep so 6 felt grueling and my brain was fried.  The energy required to keep up with preschool kids astounds me sometimes.   And I’ll admit showering started to become a burden and an annoyance because that was time I felt was better spent sleeping.  So consequently there were days I wasn’t so April fresh and shaving practically went right out the window.  So bless the child at the preschool who randomly asked me one day, “Miss Natalie, are you a supermodel or something?”  and with no hesitation on my part and a straight face responded with, “Yes.  Yes I am.”  haha  I have no idea what his idea of a supermodel is but I’ll take it.  He’s learning and will make some girl very happy in about 20 years.

From Friday to Saturday I spent 11 hours in one class and on Sunday spent 14 straight hours working on a paper worth 40%, yes that did read 40%, of my grade for said class.  This didn’t include the other assignments and projects that were due for other classes during this same weekend.  At one point of the weekend I got so mad at the printer for something so completely lame (I even recognized in the moment that it was lame and that I was completely overreacting) I literally punched it with my fist multiple times.  I guess I just needed to relieve some built up stress.  And I have to say I felt momentarily gratified.  And though my mom was mad when I did it (it is her printer after all) we were both able to laugh about it two days later.

Lesson learned:  drop out of grad school.  No, the lesson learned is not to procrastinate (isn’t that always the same damn lesson needed to be learned for everything?) and that I’m freak’n AMAZING b/c I got it all done on time.  Of course that said, I haven’t received any of the grades yet.

But now it’s my blessed month of March.  Looking ahead school doesn’t get overwhelming again (I don’t think) until the end of April and I’m back to working my regular part time shift.  And in fact I have 4 1/2 days off right now.  I got 9 hours of sleep last night and arranged my whole day around one errand.  Sigh.  Did I mention it was sunny and 70 degrees here today?  Thank you March.  Thank you.